LifeLens application has success in its blood

A UCF graduate, along with a team of students, decided to come up with a new use for his smart phone: a virtual microscope.

After developing an application to detect malaria from a digital snapshot, Team LifeLens placed third at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2011 on July 13, a worldwide competition that gives students a chance to demonstrate a truly unique piece of technology that will change the world.

Tristan Gibeau, a recent graduate of UCF, is one of Team LifeLens’members. He described the process of diagnosing patients on the fly.

“You draw some blood from someone and then you put it on a slide and then we apply a dye and if there are some malaria parasites, they will actually adhere to the dye and give a pigmentation to it. If there aren’t any parasites, nothing will happen,” Gibeau said.

Using images and samples provided by different labs, the program has proved to be 94.4 percent accurate so far.

Team LifeLens is composed of five enterprising individuals from the four corners of the U.S. In addition to Gibeau, Cy Khormaee from the Harvard School of Business, Wilson To from the University of California at Davis, Jason Wakizaka from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and University of California at San Diego graduate Helena Xu all contributed to the cause.

Khormaee has requested leave of school for the following year to focus on the venture.

“So I’ve officially notified Harvard and will be taking a leave of absence for the next year [or two],” he said. “My family does know and has been incredibly supportive of the decision.”

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